Woolworths staff have reported being abused by customers angry over the retailer’s Ooshies promotion ending earlier than expected.
The supermarket announced on Monday it was likely stock would be depleted by the weekend following “extraordinary demand” for the popular 38 collectables.
Customers in all states and territories, excluding Victoria, will no longer be able to redeem toys once stock has fully dried up.
With some stores already completely sold out of Ooshies, staff have reportedly been bearing the brunt of the backlash.
“Only three hours into my shift and I’ve copped more abuse than I have over the past three years because of these Ooshies,” one employee wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night.
Another “poor girl” reportedly received a “verbal beating” dealt by a customer angry over Ooshies earlier this week.
“Poor girl that works at my local Woolies was in tears after copping a verbal beating from some knob because they were out of Ooshies,” a witness wrote.
A Woolworths spokesperson said the majority of customers had been respectful towards staff, with a small number of workers being targeted.
“The safety of our team members is our top priority and we will not accept customer abuse in any circumstance,” they told Yahoo News Australia.
“Our team members are doing the very best they can to look after our customers, so please support them, and each other. We've found the vast majority of customers have been respectful towards our team members and we thank them for their patience.”
Consumers have not taken lightly to the announcement, complaining online over being refused Ooshies after having earned them while shopping.
Customers argued they should have had more warning that the promotion, which was supposed to continue until October 20, would be ending early.
Hi @woolworths, I just did a shop at Woolworths Eight Mile Plains QLD earning 30 Ooshies. The store has run out. Can you please confirm I can collect these when stock returns at this store or at another store upon presentation of my receipt?— The AC Factor (@TheACFactor) September 20, 2020
“The stores that do not have Ooshies must take down to 'buy this item to get a bonus Ooshie' signs. I bought extra crumpets but [there were] no Ooshies at the end,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Your Eastgardens store is out of Ooshies and you only find out if this after paying, at which time you are told to come back. Is this correct as I am being told that is not the case?’ another said.
Woolworths responded saying it had run out of Ooshies sooner than anticipated.
“We understand your frustrations however the program was incredibly popular and we've run out of stock sooner than expected. As with all of our collectables, the Disney+ Ooshies were a limited edition item and only available while stocks last. Thanks for your patience and understanding,” its tweet read.
when you think ooshies are over and then my store gets a load in this morning 😾— chloe 🦋 (@chIoejoyce) September 22, 2020
Shoppers have called on the supermarket to cease advertising Ooshies that it clearly could not provide.
Staff seem to be fed up with the chaos too, with some eagerly anticipating their store running out.
“When you think Ooshies are over and then my store gets a load in this morning [sad face],” one wrote online.
Woolworths just last week told Yahoo News Australia it was “working to replenish” Ooshie stock at stores that had experienced shortages.
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